In an ideal world we would all have an ideal future vision which would act as our guiding light and motivate our day to day actions. BUT this is not always the reality so don’t worry if you’re scrambling to figure out where you will be at the end of this year let alone in 3 to 5 years’ time. This year has not been kind to many of us, I mean it’s hard to believe that 2020 is nearly over and many of us will be glad to see the back of it.
We’re not threw it yet and with a new month comes a fresh opportunity for us all to set our monthly goals. Whether you’ve never set monthly goals before or you’re simply just scrambling now to achieve any of the new year’s resolutions you set for yourself back in January this post is for you.
You always want to ask yourself “why” when you are goal setting. For example, if you’re overall goal is that you want to become a Barrister, then setting smaller goals that revolve around that “why” will help you get there.
Once you have a better idea of you “why” it’s time to do more self-reflection. If you’re determined to become a Barrister, then you need to break this overall goal down further by setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals that motivate you and be sure to write them down to feel more tangible. Be sure to cross each one of them off as you achieve them.
When you make your goal as specific as possible, you set yourself up for success. When setting your goals consider answering who, what, where, when, which and why. For example, instead of stating I will lose weight this month – why not say I will lose xKg this month, week or year.
In tandem with the above tip what benchmarks will you use to make sure you are moving forward and progressing? How will you know if what you are doing is not working and that its time to pivot? Having a goal that you can quantify and measure will help you stay motivated to reach your targets and more importantly reach your target dates.
Consider creative methods of tracking your progress. If you want to reduce stress, devise a stress measure or mood tracker for yourself. Keep a log and review it over time. Measuring your results is important as it helps you adjust your goals as you work towards meeting your objectives. When it comes to stress, using a log will allow you to watch for trends, such as situations that cause you more stress and coping mechanisms that are least and most effective.
Your goal needs to be realistic and attainable to be successful. A goal should stretch your abilities but still remain possible. When making a goal you should always keep in mind – how can I accomplish this goal? Is this goal actually within your sights and achievable and if not, what mechanisms do you need to put in place to make it so? Are these within your control?
Be sure to make goals which matter to you and that align with your other goals. You don’t want to set yourself two competing goals. For example – you don’t want to say to yourself I wish to be a Barrister whilst also working towards becoming a Scientist. Furthermore, we all need support and assistance in achieve our goals, but it’s important to retain control over them. A relevant goal will answer yes to the following questions – Does this seem worthwhile? Is this the right time? Does this match my efforts and needs of my other goals? Am I the right person to reach this goal?
Every goal needs a target date, this gives you a deadline to focus on and something to work towards. A time bound goal will answer these questions: When? What can I do 6 months from now? What can I do four weeks from now? What can I do today?
Tips for writing your goals
State goals with a positive tone – try to avoid the temptation to state your desire in a negative way. If you’re overall goal is to not complain so much why not reframe it to be that you will find three positive things about your date and write them down before you go to bed.
Focus on the process, not the outcome – this is a very hard thing to do because often times when we set goals we find ourselves focusing on the end. BUT, it’s really the steps you take to get there that matter the most. Let’s say your overall goal is to lose 10 KG – that’s the goal…but during the process of this goal you realise that you lose 8KG and you are very comfortable at this weight and happy in your appearance. Did you fail at achieving this goal? You won’t feel this way if you are committed to appreciating the process and not the outcome.
Write your goals in the present tense as if they are your current reality – rather than focus on something why you wish to achieve why not manifest your goals by treating them like they are your currently reality. If you want to lose 6KG in one month rather than say I will lose 6KG this month reframe the goal to read, I am 6KG lighter this month.
Prioritise your goals – when you have several goals be sure to prioritise them to help you in feel less overwhelmed by having too many goals and helps your direct your attention to the most important ones.
Make it visual: write your goals down and keep them in a place that you can see on a day to day basis. If you are more private and don’t want your goals out in the open be sure to keep them in a quick to reach place so you can review them daily, reflect and make adjustments if you need to.
So where should I start?
Start small, in fact, you are more likely to have success by making a little progress every day. To help you kick things off be sure to download the Legal Diaries Goal Boss e-book filled with tips, worksheets and goal ideas to help you get started on your goal journey.